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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Bridging gaps in Bioeconomy: from Foresty and Agriculture Biomass to Innovative Technological solutions (BRIDGE2BIO

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.03.08  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Economics of agro-food processing and rural development 

Code Science Field
S184  Social sciences  Economic planning 

Code Science Field
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Keywords
bioeconomy, circular economy, cascading use of biomass, efficient biomass use, biobased value chains, cooperation, bioeconomic clusters
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (26)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  21407  PhD Sabina Berne  Biotechnology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  166 
2.  52432  PhD Ana Bjelić  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2020  60 
3.  34522  PhD Miha Grilc  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2018 - 2021  397 
4.  19106  PhD Miha Humar  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,336 
5.  37968  Bojan Ivanc  Economics  Researcher  2018 
6.  16329  PhD Luka Juvančič  Plant production  Head  2018 - 2021  428 
7.  30768  PhD Tina Kocjančič  Animal production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  35 
8.  17034  PhD Nike Krajnc  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  955 
9.  54342  Nina Barbara Križnik  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2020 - 2021 
10.  25446  PhD Blaž Likozar  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2018 - 2021  1,228 
11.  33095  PhD Marko Lovec  Political science  Researcher  2018 - 2021  342 
12.  52533  PhD Petra Medved Djurašinović  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2019 
13.  09817  MSc Mateja Mešl  Economics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  68 
14.  13073  PhD Rok Mihelič  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  486 
15.  51175  Polona Mlinarič    Technical associate  2020 - 2021 
16.  29336  PhD Ilja Gasan Osojnik Črnivec  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2021  239 
17.  11223  PhD Primož Oven  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  561 
18.  19950  MSc Mitja Piškur  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018  369 
19.  10873  PhD Nataša Poklar Ulrih  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2021  834 
20.  38944  Ilona Rac  Plant production  Researcher  2018 - 2021  101 
21.  37966  MSc Simona Rataj  Economics  Researcher  2018 
22.  30847  PhD Mija Sežun  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2021  65 
23.  38471  Darja Stare  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018 - 2021  222 
24.  30994  Matej Šuštaršič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2018  52 
25.  15874  PhD Tatjana Zagorc  Interdisciplinary research  Researcher  2019  62 
26.  06345  PhD Janja Zule  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Retired researcher  2018 - 2021  276 
Organisations (6)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  66,788 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,316 
3.  0219  Pulp and Paper Institute  Ljubljana  5051681  1,688 
4.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  12,074 
5.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,610 
6.  6007  Chamber of Commerce and Industry od Slovenia  Ljubljana  5021979  342 
Abstract
According to the EC’s definition (2012), the bioeconomy is an “…economy based on the sustainable production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, fibers, materials, chemicals and bioenergy with the use of efficient and innovative technologies”. The transition to the bio-economy marks a new paradigm in the organization of business processes. By-products and residues are thus becoming raw materials in existing optimized or new processes. This transition is enabled by new knowledge and technologies for converting biomass into different products, interconnected in cascade and circular (in terms of energy and material) production cycles. Such an organization of business processes brings numerous economic, social and environmental benefits. New biomass deconstruction technologies and the inclusion of the resulting building blocks in bio-based materials (e.g. extracts, nanomaterials, biopolymers) allow entry into new value chains (e.g. health, smart packaging) and achieving significantly higher value added than the current methods of biomass processing. Producers of agricultural and forestry products also receive direct benefits (income, employment). This is due to an increase in demand for primary products, as well as an increase in the market value of residues (e.g. straw, pomace, green cuttings, slaughter residues), which are becoming established as a low-cost and technologically attractive raw material basis. Further benefits can be seen in manufacturing, where the transition to bio-based technologies represents a potential for adding value to products and better utilization of input materials. A larger number of products from the same input raw material means better branched value chains, and consequently a larger number of transactions between economic entities. The multiplicative impact on the national economy is reflected in a greater accumulation of revenues (and consequently investments, income, as well as tax revenues) and in a larger number of employees. Due to the low cost of transporting input materials, connecting into biochemical values chain usually takes place locally, most often in rural areas. Therefore, the expansion of the bioeconomy brings opportunities to achieve economic convergence between cities and the countryside. Furthermore, the bioeconomy contributes to the circular economy, as it promotes sustainable and efficient exploitation of renewable resources in closed material and energy loops without waste. In terms of social and environmental sustainability, the aspect of the transition to the bioeconomy relating to the substitution of energy and raw materials of fossil origin with bio-based ones is particularly important. Its multi-sectoral nature is a key characteristic of the bioeconomy. Therefore, for a competitive, dynamic and sustainable bioeconomy, policies need to be fully integrated in a number of areas (e.g. agri-food, forestry, energy, environment, science, technological development). All these areas have their own operating principles, research needs and innovations, which are however interconnected and complementary in the bioeconomy, encouraging the emergence of new products, processes and technologies. Leading countries in the field of the bio-economy, including some EU Member States, are aware of the interconnectedness and complexity of interactions in the bio-economy and are trying to promote their harmonious operation. The bioeconomy is given special attention in sectoral strategies or even dedicated bioeconomy strategies. In recent years, Slovenia has been investing in research, development and innovation in this field as welll, both in relevant national strategic programmes (we highlight the Smart Specialization Strategy with its accompanying SRIPs, which promotes the development of knowledge and the integration of the economy into new value chains) and through investments of the economy in connection with the introduction and commercialization of bio-bas
Significance for science
By combining exceptional interdisciplinary competencies of diverse scientific and expert groups in the field, the project consortium will achieve significantly better results than working in individual groups in order to evaluate the potential and promote the development of bioeconomy in Slovenia. An emphasis will be given to the agro-food and related renewable side and waste streams for bio-based processes and materials. Accessible data and new connections will strengthen the existing research areas and enable the creation of new ones, in Slovenia and beyond. By identifying key obstacles and gaps, we will also encourage a long-term research and development in areas spanning the production, processing and utilization of identified renewable raw materials. Integrating different professional and research competencies within, and competencies from related fields and of different technological readiness levels, is reasonable in order to achieve the project objectives and to strengthen the association between the relevant professional, higher education and scientific research institutions. Likewise, this kind of cooperation is efficient, relevant and has a great potential for a long-term continuation. Although the concept of bioeconomy in the Slovene research space is not new, one of the project's side products will be a review of the existing literature, including recent research projects from abroad, which will bring Slovenian research sphere closer to: a) the conceptual framework of the bioeconomy b) understanding of theoretical and disciplinary bases, c) structure of the factors and processes constituting bioeconomy A general economic development and institutional framework, Biological resources (supply and demand) Business strategies, vertical and horizontal connectivity, A regulatory framework and a supportive environment d) individual examples of national bioeconomy systems and e) understanding the differences between individual national systems according to the described factors (categorizations, scales). Many of these elements are also at the global level at an early stage of the studies, which will contribute to the integration of the Slovenian research space into new research areas. Inclusion in new topics is important both from the research point of view (the importance of the first publications) and from the aspect of content (strategic importance of the bioeconomy for Slovenia due to the potential in this area, including research spaces). The project will not only provide for the participation of researchers, but also, through the availability of results and materials (in line with the outcome plan), enable participation of other interested parties. Additionally, the project is important for the development of science, because it integrates researchers with a diverse disciplinary background and combines various disciplinary contents, enabling a broader basis for association and building new insights. The project will also contribute to the development of science in the opposite direction (not only by transferring knowledge to the home environment) in the context of a study of the national bioeconomy system, including: the role of a wider context, the definition and assessment of the raw material base, examples of successful products, processes, business strategies, and the value chains,  an analysis of the role of the regulatory and support environment and the like. With this kind of national study, based on a review of lessons from existing literature and research projects (described above), existing literature will be exposed to additional verification and supplemented in parts, when it comes to categories of countries such as Slovenia (transition countries, new Member States, small countries , countries with high potential for bioeconomy, etc.). Although case studies have scientific and research constraints (problem of generalization), they are of great importance in regard to new research fields, study subjects wi
Significance for the country
This survey provides a substantially comprehensive and quantified overview of the economic benefits accomplished by linking economic operators with the aim of producing, collecting and processing biomass to deliver higher added value products. In the first line, it is worth highlighting the improvement of the economic situation of agricultural holdings and other economic operators involved in the primary production of agricultural and forest-wood assortments. With the expansion of alternative biomass applications, the demand is rising, which, according to basic economic theory, leads to an increase in prices and, consequently, revenue. Furthermore, a possibility of conversion of by-products from primary production (eg straw, marc, green cut, and slaughter waste) increases the market value of raw materials, which again leads to improved revenue. New biomass uncoupling technologies and the use of bio-based building blocks for new value chains (eg nanomaterials, biopolymers, construction) allow for significantly higher added value than previous methods of using by-products for energy use. A larger number of products from the same raw material input means more dispersed added value chains, and consequently a larger number of transactions between economic operators. This positive multiplier effect is further reflected in a greater accumulation of revenues (including investments, income, tax revenue) and increased number of jobs. In addition, due to the low costs of transporting input raw materials, the integration into the bioeconomic value chain usually takes place locally, most often in rural areas, leading to potential economic convergence between the cities and the countryside. The effects of the project in terms of extending and accelerating integration between agriculture and other economic operators according to the principles of the bioeconomy will thus contribute to economic growth and increase the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2019, 2020
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2019, 2020
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